The Wrath of the Lamb
Regarding the aftermath of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we read in John 11:45-48: “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.”
These people had wrong priorities and a place in life which they were not going to willingly let go for anything. Why not let Jesus continue and see what happens? Is it worth risking opposing God to try to stop Him- especially considering what Jesus had just done in raising Lazarus from the dead? These people even acknowledged Jesus had done many miracles, beneficial miracles that only helped people (He didn’t come to judge the world at His first coming). Yet every display of His goodness did not break their resistance to His righteous instruction and His Supreme Authority as the Son of God. And so, it is very fitting that after the Jewish nation rejected Christ and crucified Him that the Romans did come about 40 years later and destroyed Jerusalem and took away the authority of its religious leaders (there was not even a Temple anymore after they were done).
Matthew 22:1-14: “And Jesus answered and spoke unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
We see here how it is not only those who blatantly reject the offer of God’s grace in Christ’s Gospel who provoke God to anger, but also those who don’t comply with the terms of entry set down by the One who made the offer. Multitudes upon multitudes profess faith in Jesus Christ yet do not heed the instructions of His Word. They will not be ready to meet Christ with an acceptable garment, seeing that they remain on the broad road of disobedience to Christ’s righteous authority and don’t cooperate with His mission of obtaining a holy and pure people for Himself.
Note the goal of Christ’s mission of redemption in Ephesians 5:25-27: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity (lawlessness), and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
In Revelation 19:5-8 we’re given a preview of the marriage supper of the Lamb: “And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
Man is under condemnation for his rebellion and sin against God. The Son has come and given Himself to the Father for us as an acceptable offering for sin on the cross. That is our only hope of obtaining mercy and redemption. Christ offers people peace and reconciliation with the Father on the condition they turn from all sin and from all love of darkness to be faithful subjects of His kingdom under His righteous authority (He is both Lord and Savior). Yet when people despise this and won’t heed God’s Word, then the very salvation which should have been their rescue, and led to their rejoicing, rather increases their condemnation due to the great opportunity which their own obstinance and wrong priorities caused them to miss out on.
Mark 6:10-12: “And he said unto them (Jesus is speaking to His disciples here), In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”
Matthew 12:41-45: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
Luke 19:41-44: “And when he (Jesus) was come near, he beheld the city (Jerusalem), and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
When the greatest efforts have been made by God to righteously save people from His holy and just condemnation, and people still choose the pleasures of sin, when they side with the Redeeming King’s enemies, when they try to use the Redeemer as an excuse to continue in sin, and when they just plain continue on their own way and refuse to repent then they miss the Lamb of God’s goodness- and there is nothing left for them but His wrath.
Proverbs 19:12: “The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favor is as dew upon the grass.”
Hebrews 10:26-31: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
That last passage was indeed written to warn Christians, real Christians, about the potential of falling away from Jesus to damnation. It nonetheless includes a warning for the rest of the world- because a Christian falling away from Christ brings them back under condemnation with the rest of the world. A related Scripture is 1 Corinthians is 11:31-32: “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
Therefore, we read about the wrath of the Lamb being poured out upon the wicked world at the end of time (and He has given previews of His wrath being poured out already, within the Bible and without- like with the Jewish nation in AD 70).
Revelation 6:14-16: “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”
These people in utter terror of the Lamb would have found His mercy and been spared from this terror if they had adopted the right priorities, esteemed Him properly, and been willing to suffer to follow His Word in this short life. He died to deliver them from condemnation, but now He has rather pronounced a verdict of condemnation upon them. They wouldn’t come to Him on the terms He set forth when He was gathering His harvest. Jeremiah 8:20: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]